The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

April 18, 2008

Book review: 'Lost Things' for adults, but holds appeal for teens

Teenagers are an interesting reader group.

Some teens identify with and love books that are shelved in the children’s department, some teens are insulted by the very idea of reading anything labeled “children,” and some are only interested in books that are primarily written for adults.

Of course, there are also teens who are willing to read anything that’s “good.” One of the jobs of librarians is to figure out what a person considers “good” (because it’s completely different from person to person) and connect that person with a “good” book. Award books sometimes make this process easier for librarians because they narrow down the vast number of quality books into manageable chunks.

The Alex Award is given each year to 10 adult books that have teen appeal by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. “The Book of Lost Things” received an Alex Award in 2007.

‘The Book of Lost Things’

By John Connolly

David’s mother is dying, and David is crushed by the idea of losing her. He is so desperately trying to bring life back into her that he tries to be as well-behaved as he can be so that his mother doesn’t have to worry about him or scold him. He begins “routines” of touching faucets and door handles a prescribed number of times, and he begins to read his mother the fairy-tale stories she read to him as a child.

To David and his mother, stories come alive when they’re read, and they have a great desire to be read. So after his mother’s death, he is only mildly surprised when these books begin to whisper from their places on the shelves and he begins to have attacks where he passes out and dreams of the Crooked Man.

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